Oct 132016


Great news for comedy fans as the Victoria & Albert Museumacquires Tommy Cooper archive of jokes and props but sadly no fez!

The collection, which will open to the public in the autumn in the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Galleries, is the largest collection of its kind tracing the life and legacy of the much-loved British comedian Tommy Cooper (1921 – 1984).

The Tommy Cooper Collection comprises over 116 boxes of archive material and 24 props and posters charting the career of the outwardly shambolic magician and comedian known for his trademark fez, flustered face, bungling stage persona and razor-sharp comedy. The collection also includes Cooper’s writings, some jotted down on backs of posters and shirt packaging cardboard, as well as documents relating to the inner workings of his career, such as contracts; stage props, Cooper’s infamous ‘Head Twister’ illusion; details of early auditions at the BBC and engagements; a folio notebook full of his gags; personal correspondence; posters; theatre programmes and merchandise charting his career spanning almost forty years.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Sep 192016


 You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70 is a new major exhibition from the V&A, that will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s upon life today. From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberalist politics, the world we live in has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years 1966 – 70.  It investigates the upheaval, the explosive sense of freedom, and the legal changes that took place resulting in a fundamental shift in the mindset of the Western world. 

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70 will open at the Victoria & Albert Museum this Saturday and will run until 26th February. Tickets are £16 with V&A members going free. Advance booking advised; visit the V&A in person; online at vam.ac.uk/revolution; or by calling 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies).

The displays will show the creative, social and legal outputs of revolutionary new ways of living. They will include underground magazines from Oz to the International Times; a shopping list written behind barricades during the 1968 Paris student riots; a moon rock on loan from NASA alongside the space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining ‘Earthrise’ photograph on the Apollo 8 mission; a rare Apple 1 computer; an Ossie Clark costume for Mick Jagger; original artworks by Richard Hamilton; shards from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar; the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and handwritten lyrics for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles.

Our top tip is to visit the V&A Museum in the morning before the crowds. That way, you can treat yourself to a delicious lunch or afternoon tea after viewing your preferred exhibits!

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70 will explore the way that youth culture catalysed an optimistic idealism, motivating people to come together and question established power structures across every area of society. More than 350 objects encompassing photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artefacts, and performance that defined the counterculture will illustrate the way that a whole generation shook off the confines of the past and their parents, radically revolutionising the way they lived their lives.#

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Aug 182016

Combining rich history and a cutting edge future, London Bridge is fast becoming one of the must visit districts in the capital and with so much to see and do plus weekend offers starting at just £99* a night at the centrally located London Bridge Hotel you really can stay for the weekend. Here is our suggested itinerary** for 36 hours in London Bridge.



09.30  Arrive at London Bridge station and take the two minute walk to London Bridge Hotel. Leave you bags and head straight to Borough Market for brunch before the crowds.

11.00 Experience the best view of London, 72 floors up from The View From The Shard.

12.30 See what life at sea was like below decks aboard HMS Belfast.

14.00 Catch a quick matinee show at the Unicorn Theatre, now some adult performances as well as for young people.

19.00 Dinner at Londinium before cocktails at Quarter Bar & Lounge. Overnight at London Bridge Hotel.

09.30 Breakfast at the hotel and check out (leave you bags with the concierge) before heading to the Fashion and Textile Museum  to see MISSONI ART COLOUR until 4th September.12.00 Marvel at the hand-crafted jewellery at neighbouring boutiques owned by artistAndrew Logan and British designer Alex Monroe.

13.00 Picnic lunch on Potters Fields Park, overlooking The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

14.00 Take a stroll down Bermondsey Street to see a live glassblowing demonstration atLondon Glassblowing

16.00 Get free entrance to exhibitions at White Cube Bermondsey, one of Europe’s largest commercial galleries.

19.00 time to head home…

* Terms and conditions apply for more information visit www.londonbridgehotel.com/Offers.html.

** Times are just a suggestion for more information please visit www.discoverlondonbridge.co.uk

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Jul 112016


Oliver Cromwell & King Charles I

It was a knowledgeable London friend of mine who told me about this little historic gem in Parliament.  The English Civil War was a time of turmoil that saw the regicide of Charles I and the installation of Parliamentary rule under Oliver Cromwell.  Charles’ son reclaimed the throne after Cromwell died but there are two relics that talk to this divisive event in English history near the Palace of Westminster.

By the Houses of Parliament, stands a pensive Oliver Cromwell, looking down. Across the road, in a niche at St Margaret’s Church, is a statue of the King himself, calmly staring back at him, the head only, accusing his enemy of his treachery – a perpetual memory to this hiccough in royal rule.  It’s almost as if Cromwell is unable to meet Charles’ accusatory gaze.


Cromwell ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658 and this statue was erected in 1899 to celebrate the tercentenary of Cromwell’s birth. When he died, he was buried at Westminster Abbey but on the accession & Restoration of Charles II, he was exhumed, hanged at Tyburn and his head was stuck on a spike on the roof of Westminster Hall. It stayed there some 20 years before being retrieved and buried in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Charles I was beheaded at the behest of Parliament on 30th June 1649 at the Banqueting House, Whitehall. He is buried in a vault in the Chapel of St George, Windsor. This bust of Charles I was found by Hedley Hope-Nicholson and given to St Margaret’s Church in 1956.


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Apr 192016


Dutch flowers is a new major exhibition, which opened 6th April at The National Gallery, which through twenty-two works, examines the origins of the genre, to the height of its popularity in the Dutch Golden Age and its final flowering in the late eighteenth century. Coinciding with the flower shows at Chelsea and Hampton Court, the exhibition explores Dutch flower painting from its beginnings in the early seventeenth century to its peak in the late eighteenth century and is the first display of its kind in 20 years. At the turn of the seventeenth century, Netherlandish painters such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Ambrosius Bosschaert and Roelandt Savery were among the first artists to produce paintings that exclusively depicted flowers. The sudden emergence of this genre is undoubtedly linked to the development of scientific interest in botany and horticulture at the close of the sixteenth century.

Dutch Flowers will be held at The National Gallery until 29th August 2016 and even better its free.

Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. You cansign up for special offer alerts here. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn – Photographs: The National Gallery, London

Mar 212016

Recently The Hip Horticulturist, a well-established travel and gardening blog, wrote a great post on where to go for a ‘UK Weekend Getaway’. Within this piece they mentioned the London Bridge Hotel as the perfect spot to stay over anywhere else in London, which we’re thrilled about!

London Collage

There’s so much to see and do in London you will never be bored or short of things to do. So we definitely agree with them picking London as one of the best places to go for a few days break.

Within their piece The Hip Horticulturist also mentioned another great article on 101 Free Things To Do In London, which is a fascinating piece filled with some inspiring ideas. We thought this could be a great read for anyone venturing on a London break.

Now the bank holiday weekend is creeping upon us, it’s the perfect time to book a nice long ‘Weekend Getaway’!

Head over to our main website to search through our beautiful and unique accommodation from just £99 here.




Oct 132015


The Fabric of India is the first exhibition in the UK to fully explore the incomparably rich world of handmade textiles from India. From the earliest known fragments to contemporary fashion, the exhibition will illustrate the technical mastery and creativity of Indian textiles. The Fabric of India will be held at The Victoria and Albert Museum until 10th January 2016 2016.  Tickets cost £14 with concessions available. V&A Members go free. Advance booking is advised – this can be done in person at the V&A; online at www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/the-fabric-of-india (booking fee applies). Celebrating the variety, virtuosity and continuous innovation of India’s textile traditions, The Fabric of India presents 200 everyday fabrics and unseen treasures all made by hand. From ancient ceremonial banners to contemporary saris, from sacred temple hangings to bandanna handkerchiefs, to the spectacular tent used by Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), the famed ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore; this exhibition offers an introduction to the raw materials and processes of making cloth by hand. The opening section shows fabrics dyed with natural materials such as pomegranate and indigo and the complex techniques of block printing, weaving and embroidery across the ages, together creating a visual compendium of India’s astonishingly diverse array of fabrics. Highlights range from muslin embroidered with glittering green beetle wings, to a vast wall hanging appliqued with designs of elephants and geometrical patterns, to a boy’s jacket densely embroidered with brightly coloured silk thread and mirrors.

Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. You cansign up for special offer alerts here. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Photographs by various photographers – credits as follows: Abraham & Thakore;  Victoria and Albert Museum, London and National Trust Images

Sep 162015


Botticelli Reimagined is a new major exhibition, opening 5th March 2016 at the V&A, exploring, for the first time the variety of ways artists and designers from the Pre-Raphaelites to the present have responded to the artistic legacy of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), assembling 150 works from around the world.

Botticelli Reimagined will be held at The Victoria and Albert Museum from 5th March – 3rd July 2016.  Tickets will go on sale in September this year and will cost £15 with concessions available. V&A Members go free. Advance booking is advised – this can be done in person at the V&A; online at www.vam.ac.uk/Botticelli; or by calling 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies).

Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. You cansign up for special offer alerts here. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn – Photographs by various photographers – credits as follows: Venus,Volker-H. Schneider; Venus, after Botticelli, Private collection, courtesy Duhamel Fine Art, Paris; Portrait of a Young Man, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington; Rebirth of Venus, David LaChapelle; The Renaissance of Venus, Tate, London 2015; The Virgin and Child with Two Angels, courtesy Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste Vienna; The Orchard, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Pallas and the Centaur, courtesy of the Ministero Beni e Att. Cultura; Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Allegory of Abundance or Autumn, The Trustees of the British Museum; Venus Dress: Look 15, Catwalking.com.

Aug 202015
George Washington, by Sue Lowry

George Washington, by Sue Lowry

The statue of George Washington located at the eastern end of the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London was a gift to Britain by the State of Virginia.  This oversized bronze statue is a copy of the original marble sculpture by Jean-Antoine Houdon which stands in the Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.

Although originally made in 1914, it finally made it to the UK after the First World War and was unveiled in 1921 by Judith Brewer, the daughter of the then Speaker of the House of Delegates of Virginia.  Washington famously said that he would never set foot on British soil so it is rumoured that American earth was brought over and placed under the statue.  I have no idea if that is true but I do like the tale.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. You cansign up for special offer alerts here. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Apr 182015

8._Installation_view_of_Voss_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

If you love seeing a true, original talent, then swiftly head for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in South Kensington to see their blockbuster exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.

9._Installation_view_of_Romantic_Naturalism_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

What a revelation this was – entering into the world of a privileged few who knew him, reviewed this designer or wore his clothes. It’s only by seeing the physical products that he produced that you understood what a raw and innovative talent this young Scot had – and what we lost when he left us.

6._Installation_view_of__Cabinet_of_Curiosities_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

The skilful way in which the exhibition has been curated tells his story alongside his clothes – his Savile Row apprenticeship, his association with marques like Givenchy and the establishment of his own eponymous label. It’s easy to see why he was often referred to as the enfant terrible of fashion for his irreverent style and celebration of the gothic and grotesque – yet even in the most outlandish of collections, a beauty and grace shone through together with a surprising depth and grasp of historic knowledge and tradition.

3._Installation_view_of_Romantic_Gothic_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

By walking through his life with this beautifully curated exhibit, I saw the skill and raw talent that he had and how his ideas have permeated every section of our society. The quote “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition” really sums up this exhibition. You can still buy tickets for this exhibit and I urge you to do so. I came away both enlightened and informed. Just wonderful.

2._Installation_view_of_Savage_Mind_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large) (2)

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, in partnership with Swarovski, supported by American Express and made possible with the co-operation of Alexander McQueen, runs from 14th March – 2nd August 2015 – www.vam.ac.uk/savagebeauty. Follow Victoria and Albert Museum on twitter @V_and_A and on Facebook: Victoria and Albert Museum.

Contributor: Sue Lowry Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Photographs: Reproduced courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London.